Its not an issue that receives a lot of press even among Veterans, but the Nation published a provocative article on how military doctors are likely deliberately branding legitimately disabled Veterans as soldiers that had pre-existing personality disorders. Nevermind that they never would have been accepted into the military if such a mental impairment existed the practice received enough attention that President Obama helped craft a bill to counteract this practice while he was still a Senator. The story describe a certain veteran who was wounded by a bomb in the Sunni triangle and suffered shoulder trauma, tinnitus, and other ailments such as debilitating headaches, but was told he was faking these injuries, and that he actually had a preexisting personality disorder. Studies from the Pentagon and Harvard have shown that the government and military has saved billions of dollars through this practice. It works well for the military since they can discharge those that are diagnosed with PD and then the soldier is actually required to pay back the military since they didn’t serve their full military term. Since 2001, more than 22,600 soldiers have been discharged with personality disorders. Many of those discharged this way have served 2 to 3 tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. Worse there are reports that those diagnosed with PD would be put in solitary confinement, would be detained like a prisoner for a month at a time before they were even discharged under a fabricated mental impairment. If the soldier disputes the reasons for a discharge then this could result in a less than honorable discharge which is something to be avoided since it prevents primary eligibility for VA disability.
Despite Obama’s initial support for this bill, and bipartisan support, there has not been much if any movement on this bill. The study that was ordered under the Bush Administration has stated that military doctors have not abused this diagnosis and that they are “competent medical professionals” making presumably legitimate diagnoses. When the study’s author is pressed as to if soldier’s families have been interviewed or what the basis for the conclusion is there is no evidence forthcoming. No soldiers that allegedly have PD or their doctors were interviewed as a part of the study.